Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 19, 2013

Summit FCI inmates refuse meals

Facility operating on ‘modified schedule’ because of food boycott

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

SUMMIT — The Federal Correctional Institution at Summit is operating on what a spokesman described as a “modified schedule” after a number of inmates refused meals on Wednesday.

The operating status is just below a lockdown, with inmates confined to their cells at all times other than meals, said David Brewer, executive assistant to the warden.

The schedule was implemented after “a number of inmates elected not to participate in the noon or evening meals” on Wednesday, Brewer said.

Brewer said he didn’t know exactly how many inmates had boycotted the meals, but he said it was “quite a few.” He also said all of the inmates were accounted for, and that there was no reason for the public to be concerned.

Brewer also said he wouldn’t describe the situation as a hunger strike because inmates refusing to eat in the dining hall still had access to food from the prison commissary.

He said the inmates’ reasons for refusing meals weren’t clear and that the situation was under review.

The key difference between a modified schedule and a lockdown is under the latter, inmates are confined to their cells 24 hours a day and meals are brought to them, Brewer said.

With the modified schedule, “We’re calling the units to the dining hall like any other day” and the inmates who wish to leave their cells to eat can do so, he said

“We’re kind of slowing things down a little bit,” he said.

FCI houses 1,250 low-security inmates. Brewer said the situation was only affecting the prison and not its satellite facility, the minimum-security Federal Prison Camp.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.